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10.10.11

Rita Lynch - 'Crack On' (Fruit and Flowers) 5/5

Terms like Legend and Icon are all to often employed these days, and rarely are the acts these terms are ascribed to are worthy of them. However when your faced with a musician and a talent as mercurial as Rita Lynch you find that these are the only words that really fit and do the artist justice. Rita has been at the very heart of the Bristol music scene for over 20 years now, and over the years has built an international reputation as being a truly noteworthy artist who is cited as a huge influence by many of todays better know acts. A couple of years ago she was recruited by the equally legendary Bristol art rockers The Blue Aeroplanes as a rhythm guitarist, but she still finds time to follow her solo career, and now we have 'Crack On' her ninth solo album.

Now this album is typical Rita, aided by fellow Blue Aeroplane John Langley on drums and other assorted instruments, 'Crack On' takes on where her previous release, 2010's 'What am I?' leaves off. There are 18 cuts on offer here, all fine slices of angst fueled angry venom spitting post punk attitude. The structures are simple, mainly a simple riff that just builds slowly with equally minimalist instrumentation that allows Rita's plaintiff yet purposeful vocals and deep deep lyrics carry the song straight to the soul of the listener. We have angry politically fired tracks like On The Dole and What I Don't Want which is delivered with a fire not even Billy Bragg himself can muster and some deeply insightful social comment cuts like the venomous Counter Cultured, the almost Bowie-esque 9 Years (Hardcore) and the glorious pogo work out of Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah, which shows Rita as social observer who has depth few other artist can match.

However it when she is observing the state of the human condition that Rita really comes into her own. Tracks like Get It On, Talk To Me, Who Loves You The Most? and Some Kind Of Love are superb looks at love, hate, romance, loss and more that are all delivered with real heart felt emotion, sometimes with anger, sometimes with sorrow and regret, but always with the kind of real conviction that so few other artists can match.

Couple Rita's songsmithery and delivery with Mr Langley's almost tribal drumming and you have got a sound that is almost unique in modern music, and completely unknown in the singer songwriter field. Which brings me back to the legend thing. Rita herself is a modest person who dislikes the word being applied to her. 'Legends are dead' she said in a recent interview, but there are such things as living legends and as long as she is releasing albums of this exceptional quality she is continuing to build a legacy that will do herself and the city she represents proud.

An amazing album.

For fans of... P.J.Harvey, Billy Bragg, The Banshees, Patti Smith, The Blue Aeroplanes